Stiffness, Arthritis & Joint Pain

Common forms of arthritis:


Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is due to wear and tear in the joints. This can lead to inflammation, damage to the joints, bony spurs around the joint and destruction of the ligaments and tendons. Common areas affected are hips, knees, big toe and fingers. Patients often experience stiffness. The pain can be worse with certain activities, then develop to more chronic later in life.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

This is an autoimmune disorder that causes pain and swelling within the joints. This leads to inflammation and destruction of joints. RA commonly affects small joints in the hands and feet, but can also affect the hips and neck. Common signs and symptoms include pain in joint which can be tender to touch, stiffness and swelling. The joints on both sides are often equally effected (symmetrical presentation).


Osteopathic treatment may help with the management of arthritic conditions. Treatment may involve soft-tissue techniques, joint mobilisation and stretching. We may also provide exercises to help strengthen and/or stretch the areas; and we may offer advice regarding lifestyle factors and daily activities you perform to help you minimise aggravating your symptoms.Reference:Arthritis Victoria. (2014). Retrieved from

Frozen shoulder (Adhesive capsulitis)

What is it?

Adhesive capsulitis is due to inflammation and fibrous adhesions that cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder. It often occurs between the age of 40-60 years. Stiffness in the shoulder joint may occur spontaneously or may occur following trauma (fracture or surgery).



The cause of adhesive capsulitis is not well understood. It may be a very frustrating time so consultation with your health providers to help you manage your shoulder is important.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Unable to place your arm behind your back (i.e. to tie your bra up or tuck in your shirt)
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected shoulder
  • Unable to elevate your arm above your head
  • Pain present in the shoulder


Osteopathic treatment may help with the pain and stiffness associated with adhesive capsulitis. Treatment may incorporate shoulder mobilisation techniques, soft tissue therapy, dry needling, taping and stretching. We often prescribe exercises to encourage movement in the shoulder and help restore function.References:
Brukner, P., & Khan, K. (2008). Clinical Sports Medicine (3rd ed.). Mc Graw Hill Australia Pty Ltd.Frozen shoulder. (2015). Retrieved from R.C., & Prohaska D. (2008). Diagnosis and management of adhesive capsulitis. NCIB. 1 (34). 180-189